Consultative Report

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Addressing the Learning Needs of a Generationally Diverse Workforce to Strengthen Food Safety Training

( N. A. Lippard )

There are many challenges when developing an effective food safety training program for employees of a large, global manufacturer of ready-to-eat convenience foods. Of these, a rising problem is the potential differences in preferential learning styles associated with the various generations that comprise the modern employee base. Although factors such as culture and education have guided food safety training efforts in the past, there is very little consideration given to how generational diversity might affect the ability of this workforce to learn. To accurately assess these potential effects, it was necessary to determine the generations represented within the manufacturing workforce of the company, along with the preferential learning styles of individuals within each cohort group. Following the collection of generational data from the company’s human resource department and a thorough literature review of the learning preferences for the cohort groups represented, recommendations to strengthen food safety training based on the diverse learning needs were made. By implementing these recommendations, the expectation is that the company’s manufacturing workforce will have a better understanding of food safety within their respective duties, resulting in a more robust and reliable food safety program. 

Formalizing the Role of Private Food Safety Certification Schemes in Canadian Food Safety Control Systems

( C. Young ) 2017 Mather Award Winner Paper

Canadian food manufacturers are often certified against a private certification scheme (PCS) to enable the company to manage its resources according to the level of risk presented. Although the Canadian government recognizes the role that PCSs play in helping the food industry comply with food safety regulatory requirements, it falls short in formally integrating them into Canadian food safety control systems. This reluctance is most likely due to the challenges presented in a public-private partnership that can impact the integrity and reputation of both parties. However, streamlining the management of food safety activities by distributing responsibilities between the government and PCSs might eliminate many current redundancies and allow for the allocation of resources to high risk areas where they are needed most. A thorough review and analysis of the food safety system utilized by a global food manufacturer revealed that the benefits would far outweigh the potential issues of such a partnership. It is true that the formal integration of PCSs into Canadian food safety control systems may not be achievable in the near future, but conversations among various stakeholders, including government, academia, food industry and PCS organizations must continue to happen to fully leverage the food safety expertise that reside in these various fields a ion and improvement of food safety management practices.

An Assessment of Food Pantries Transporting Refrigerated and Frozen Retail Food Donations

( W. R. Melichar ) 2018 Mather Award Winner Paper

There has been a considerable increase in refrigerated and frozen food donations to food pantries in the U.S. by retail grocery stores since 2000. Although federal and state regulations ensure the safe transportation of perishable products from food processors to retailers, no such regulations exist for transporting refrigerated and frozen food donations from local grocery stores to nearby food pantries. Many food banks and associated food pantries work under contracts that mandate compliance with specific food safety standards during transportation, but no large-scale assessments of how well these guidelines are followed currently exist. Knowing the various procedures that food pantries use to pick up, deliver, and receive perishable food donations would help identify areas where further food safety training might be warranted. To obtain this information, 200 food banks associated with a large hunger-relief organization in the U.S. were surveyed to determine how many of their food pantries transported temperature-dependent food donations from local grocery stores and the procedures used to do so. The results from this study indicate that the majority of food pantries complied with most of the contractually based food safety requirements but that the deficiencies noted warranted the implementation of improved and specific training and accountability measures among some of the food pantries.